Lord's Test: Centurion Ajinkya Rahane guides India out of trouble
London: A defiant Ajinkya Rahane struck a commanding 103 to pull India out of trouble after a mid-innings collapse on a lively Lord's track, as the visitors ended the first day's play at 290 for nine in the second Test in London on Thursday.
Picking up the pieces from 145 for seven in the final session, Rahane, notching up his second Test ton in 7 matches, stitched up a 90-run eight-wicket partnership with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (36) to give the visitors respect on a day dominated by the England seamers.
Rahane, who brought up his century with a boundary off Stuart Broad (2/79), was authoritative in his strokeplay as the number-five batsman hit 15 fours and a six in his 154-ball stay at the crease.
India's Ajinkya Rahane plays a shot off the bowling of England's Liam Plunkett during his innings of 103 on the first day of the 2nd Test between England and India at Lord's cricket ground in London on Thursday.
Pace spearhead James Anderson (4/55) led the England charge as the hosts made merry on a seaming track after skipper Alastair Cook had won the toss and had no hesitation in bowling first.
Putting the Ravindra Jadeja controversy aside, a determined Anderson became the highest wicket-taker in England, surpassing fast-bowling legend Fred Trueman when he accounted for Shikhar Dhawan (7) in the morning session. Anderson has managed to get 233 scalps of his overall 363 wickets on English soil with Trueman (229) and former skipper Ian Botham (226) behind him.
Rahane was Anderson's final scalp of the day after a quick-reflex return catch ended the batsman's exceptional innings on a green-top wicket.
Post-tea, Rahane -- 26 not out -- had continued his partnership with Stuart Binny (9), but the duo couldn't carry on together for long. They had just 5 runs after the break when he lost his partner to Anderson, trapped LBW. It was then that India experienced their most productive batting stand of the day.
The Bhuvi-Rahane duo started by bringing up the 150-run mark quickly and then was helped by some bad bowling from England in the third session.
Rahane brought up his half-century off 101 balls, with 7 fours, and then the 50-run partnership came up in the 75th over of the day. An over later they brought up India's 200, something that looked improbable in the post-lunch session.
England took the new ball and broke the partnership in the 82nd over, with Kumar bowled by Broad (2-79) after his 84-ball stay, laced with 7 fours). Mohammed Shami (14 not out) and Ishant Sharma (12 not out) hung on in the final few overs to frustrate the England bowlers.
Earlier, the England's pacemen upped their game on a seaming pitch, but they weren't helped by wicketkeeper Matt Prior dropping two catches, as India, who were 73 for two at lunch, were left tottering at 140 for six at tea. .
While the pacers bowled too short in the morning session, the second session saw England's pace quartet duly rewarded for pitching-up more often as four wickets fell for 67 runs in 28 overs after several India batsmen made starts but could not press on.
Virat Kohli, dropped off the last ball before lunch by Prior, had only added five runs to his interval score of 20 when he was drawn forward by James Anderson. This time Prior, diving to his right, held the catch as Anderson took his 70th Test wicket at Lord's, a new ground record that surpassed the mark he had shared with England great Ian Botham.
All-rounder Ben Stokes then produced an excellent off-cutter to bowl Cheteshwar Pujara (28).
Before this match, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had spoken of wanting his side -- without an away win in 15 Tests -- to be exposed to typically English conditions. But he was unable to pass his own 'exam' when, to a full-length delivery from Broad, he got an edge through to opposing 'keeper Prior.
Dhoni was out for one, with Broad now having taken his 250th Test wicket.
Jeers for Jadeja
New batsman Ravindra Jadeja was, unusually for a crowd at Lord's, booed as he walked out to the middle. That reflected the all-rounder's role in an alleged confrontation with Anderson during last week's drawn first Test at Trent Bridge that led India to charge the Lancashire seamer under the International Cricket Council's code of conduct.
Wednesday saw England retaliate with a charge against Jadeja and now both players could be banned from matches during the remainder of this five-Test series.
Anderson, though, didn't get the chance to bowl at Jadeja, with much-criticised part-time off-spinner Moeen Ali having the left-hander lbw for three to leave India 128 for six.
Anderson started the day on great note claiming the wicket of left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan in the third over, well caught low down at third slip by Gary Ballance after the ball pitched outside leg stump and cut away sharply to take the edge.
Dhawan's exit saw Anderson become the most successful bowler in Tests in England, his 230th wicket surpassing the record of England fast-bowling great Fred Trueman.
India's 11 for one should have become 11 for two when Murali Vijay -- who made a hundred at Trent Bridge -- was dropped by Prior, diving to his right, off Broad on nought. Anderson didn't concede a run until his 32nd delivery but it was first-change Liam Plunkett who struck next when Vijay, aiming legside, was well caught by Ballance for 20.
Prior, who has struggled with Achilles and thigh injuries this season, then reprieved Kohli off Ali. But, fortunately for England, the Sussex gloveman made amends.